The project MRCA-1 — is partially reusable launch vehicle vertical take-off, which is based on the winged reusable first stage boosters and disposable second stages. The first step is performed by the scheme and the airplane is returned. In the area of the launch it back in airplane mode and produces a horizontal landing on airfields 1st class. Winged reusable unit of the 1st stage rocket propulsion systems will be equipped with liquid rocket engines (LRE) reusable.
Currently, the Khrunichev. Khrunichev full swing, designing and research work on the development and justification of technical aspect and the technical characteristics of a reusable space-rocket system. This system is created within the federal space program, in collaboration with a number of related businesses.
But let's talk a little bit about the story. The first generation of reusable space vehicles are 5 types of spacecraft Space Shuttle, as well as several domestic developments series BOR and the "Buran". In these projects, the Americans and the Soviet specialists have tried to build a reusable spacecraft itself (the last stage, which is derived directly in the space). The objectives of the program were as follows: the return of a significant amount of space payloads, reducing the cost of launch payloads into space, saving costly and complex spacecraft for multiple applications, the possibility of multiple-level frequent starts.
However, the 1st generation of reusable space system was not able to solve their problems with a sufficient level of efficiency. Unit price of access to space was about 3 times higher than ordinary disposable rockets. At the same time, return from space payloads is not significantly increased. At the same time resource use reusable stages were significantly lower than the calculated value, which did not allow to apply these ships in the busy schedule of space launches. As a result, in our day and satellites and astronauts delivered into orbit by means of single-missile systems. A return from Earth orbit expensive equipment and apparatus in general there is nothing. Only the Americans have made a small automatic ship X-37B, which is designed for military use and has a payload of less than 1 ton. Clear to all that the modern reusable system must be qualitatively different from the representatives of the 1st generation.
In Russia, work is being done on several reusable space systems. However, it is clear that the most promising is the so-called Aerospace System. Ideally, the spacecraft will have to take off from an aerodrome as an ordinary airplane, to go into orbit and return back, spending only fuel. However — this is the most difficult option, which requires a large number of technical solutions and preliminary studies. Quickly this option can not be implemented by any of the modern state. Although Russia and there is a fairly large technological advance for projects of this kind. For example, "aerospace plane" Tu-2000, which had a rather detailed study. Implementation of the project at the time prevented the lack of funding after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, as well as the absence of a number of critical and complex components.
There is also an intermediate option in which space system consists of a reusable space vehicle and a reusable booster stage. Work on similar systems were conducted in the USSR, for example, the system is "Spiral". There are far more new developments. But this scheme reusable space system requires quite a long cycle of design and research works on numerous fronts.
Therefore, the focus of the program is focused on Russia MRCA-1. This program stands as a "reusable space-rocket system one step." In spite of this "first step", the new system will be very functional. Just within the overall program is large enough to create a new space-based systems, the program has the most intimate terms ultimate realization.
The proposed project MRCA-1 is a two-stage system. Its main purpose — it's appearance in the Earth orbit is any spacecraft (transport, manned, unmanned) weighing 25-35 tons, and both are of real and are only in the process of creation. Into orbit payload weight is greater than the "Proton". However, the fundamental difference from the existing launch vehicles will be different. MRCA-1 system will not be a one-off. Her stage 1 will not burn up in the atmosphere and fall to earth in the form of a set of fragments. Breaking up the 2nd stage (a single) and a payload stage 1 Landed, like the space shuttle of the twentieth century. Today it is the most promising way to develop space transportation systems.
In practice, this project is a phased upgrade now created a one-time booster "Angara". Actually, the project itself MRCA-1 was born, as a further development of the project Khrunichev. Khrunichev, which together with the NGO "Lightning" was created reusable booster stage 1 launch vehicle "Angara", designated "Baikal" (the first model of "Baikal" was shown even at the MAKS-2001). "Baikal" uses the same automatic control system that enabled the Soviet space shuttle "Buran" to make a flight without a crew on board. This system provides support for flight in all its stages — from the start to the planting machine at the airport, the system will be adapted for the MRCA-1.
In contrast to the project "Baikal" MRCA-1 will have no folding planes (wings) and mounted rigidly. This solution will reduce the risk of abnormal situations when leaving the machine on landing trajectory. But recently tested design reusable booster will still undergo changes. According to Sergey Drozdov, who is head of the department aerothermodynamics high-speed aircraft TsAGI specialists were "unexpected high heat flow on the center of the wing, which would necessarily entail a change in the design of the device." In September and October of this year, the model MRCA-1 will be a series of tests in the transonic and supersonic wind tunnels.
At the 2nd phase of the program plan to make reusable and 2nd stage, and weight entered into the space payload will have to grow up to 60 tons. But even the development of a reusable booster only the 1st stage — this is a real breakthrough in the development of advanced space transportation systems. And the most important thing is that Russia is going to this breakthrough, keeping its status as one of the world's leading space-faring nations.
To date, MRCA-1 is considered as a universal multi-purpose tool designed for launching into Earth orbit spacecraft and payloads for various applications, manned and cargo ships of the program of development of mankind of near space, lunar exploration and Mars, as well as other planets in our solar system .
The composition of MRCA-1 included the return rocket pack (VRB), which is a reusable booster stage I, stage II-time accelerator and space head end (SHM). VRB and the accelerator stage II dock with each other over a packet scheme.
Modifications MRCA have different capacity (weight of cargo delivered a low parking orbit from 20 to 60 tons) is proposed to build a unified view of accelerator stages I and II with the use of a single ground facility. That in the future will ensure in practice the reduction of the complexity of work on technical position, the maximum scale production and the possibility of developing on the basis of the basic modules cost-effective family of space vehicles.
Development and construction of a family of MRCA-1 different capacity based on unit disposable and reusable stages, which will satisfy the requirements of the prospective space transportation system, and capable of very high performance and reliability to solve the problem by launching a unique high-value space objects, and serial spacecraft could become a very serious alternative among a new generation of launch vehicles to be operated for a long time in the twenty-first century.
Currently TsAGI specialists are able to evaluate the multiplicity of the rational use of the stage I MRCA-1, as well as variants of the demonstrators returned missile units and the need for it. Level I returned MRCA-1 to ensure a high level of security and reliability, and completely abandon the highlight areas of impact detachable parts, which will significantly increase the efficiency of the discharge potential commercial programs. The above advantages for Russia are extremely important, both for the only state in the world that has a continental location of existing and future spaceports.
TsAGI believe that the creation of the project MRCA-1 is a qualitatively new step in the design of future reusable space vehicles into orbit. Such systems fully meet the level of development of space engineering of the XXI century, and have significantly higher rates of economic efficiency.